This simply wouldn’t be a Rachel post without a new year (cringe) joke at the beginning so here we go
What was the spider’s new year resolution? To spend less time on the web.
Yeahh not my best (or worst, depending on which way you see my attempts) but as usual we shall not dwell on petty things. Technicalities, my dears.
In a deja vu moment from the 2021 wrap-up post (the good old days *sigh*) let’s get right into wrapping up 2022!
(as usual the formatting is terrible in the Reader so please read the post HERE)
It is with great apprehension I inform you- I didn’t reach my Goodreads goal of 65 books this year. I blame this entirely on school (SHOO PEST) and partly on 1st-January-2022-Rachel’s overconfidence in her time management abilities. But then again, 2021-Rachel did manage to read 72 books that year so her overconfidence was justified?? YEAH SO SCHOOL ITS ALL ON YOU.
Anyway I did manage to get pretty close to 65 plus I have all these lil graphics and numbers to make up for it!
Books Read: 59 | | Pages Read: 22231 | | Average book length: 383 pages
Best Books Of The Year
Worst Books Of The Year
R.F. Kuang (4 books read this year): Miss Kuang could write a biology textbook and I’d read it (which is saying a lot ok??)
Alice Oseman (5 books read this year): I am utterly in love with the osemanverse agh
I mean 2021-Rachel would have had a heart attack looking at this because WOW i really branched out of my comfort zone. It’s funny how I read the only paranormal and dark academia of my life just in these last 2 months (october-november because i had become an autumn girlie). I got tired of the YA contemporaries about mid way into the year so that’s when fantasy and mystery started picking up pace and voila fantasy almost made it.
Libraries for the win because I can finally read paperbacks instead of buying everything on my kindle!! (also my sole audiobook of the year was Pride & Prejudice in case you were wondering)
This is probably the biggest change from 2021 because LOOK AT RACHEL GROWING UP!! I sort of didn’t read ANY middle grade at all and instead took deep dive into adult (only fantasy, mystery and general fiction so far tho)
HAHAHA i can finally see how the end of the year can be depressing when it comes to stats BUT. lets just be objective and say that i basically had no time + energy to write out posts in the second half of the year so this little corner of the internet has been pathetically neglected?? So this section is no where near as large and detailed as last year’s but here’s some of my personal favourite posts from this year: (click on the featured images to be taken to the respective posts!!)
Time to see how badly I did on the goals I’d set for myself last year!
– Read more historical fiction Starting out easy huh? Yes I did read more historical fiction than 2021 soo that’s one down 4 to go!
– Shorten that physical tbr Eh partway successful? I read a lot of my physical copies… but bought several more (HEY i blame my birthday ok? and christmas. and the other… occasions which CANNOT have existed without book buying.)
– Catch up on arcs and arc reviews oh god let’s just not bring that up please. i am literally drowning in arc reviews even though I haven’t requested ARCs in MONTHS since i stopped posting reviews here.
– Follow up on series Yeahhh that did not happen. BUT i have a VERY valid reason. Owing to my goldfish memory, i do not remember the events of any book I read before yesterday so i’d have to reread the initial books to continue a series which. TOO MUCH WORK. and i’m lazy as they come.
– Work on my WIP cough cough excuse me i’m trying to manifest this goal away forever. When was it that I gave up on my so-called writing project? 2nd of January 2022? i think that’s right. yeah it’s safe to say i’m out of my writing phase now, thank you very much.
AND THAT WAS 2022 WRAPPED AND DELIVERED TO YOUR DOORSTEP BY YOUR FAVOURITE PERSON EVER
Which were some of your top reads of 2022?? Most read authors? New favourite genres?? Anticipated 2023 releases? What’s on your 2023 tbr?? Feel free to absolutely spam me with recs!!
If I disappeared into thin air, would I be missed mist?
(Oh my god I think in all this time I was away, my jokes have actually become worse. Which, considering how groan-worthy they were before is an impressive feat in itself.)
But I’d like you guys to appreciate how the joke isn’t even hypothetical at this point. Speaking of which yes I am aware I need to explain my *cough* absence. *averts eyes*
Okay so let me start from the beginning. Let us establish that this wasn’t *entirely* my fault. Look I didn’t want to be…
HAHA GOT YOU. Did you see the PJO show trailer?? Isn’t it so perfect like-
Okay okay you really can’t be distracted for 2 seconds can you? *huffs* Soo about my disappearance. As much as I’d like to tell you it was because I was heist-ing (YES I AM STILL OBSESSED WITH SUCH THINGS WHY DO YOU ASK) or pirate-ing all this while, my life isn’t nearly as adventurous. I was studying and crying about exams and worrying about failing and studying more and topping the class and then studying again so. School basically is a life-sucking force we shall not talk about anymore THIS IS A SAFE SPACE SHOO
Anyway, we’re now going to be doing a combined wrap-up for august-september-october-november (gosh have i really been gone THAT long?). Let’s just say I totally embraced the autumn vibes these last couple of months.
(ugh the formatting is AWFUL on the Reader so please read this post on the website by clicking here)
I’ve read very little these past few months (because SCHOOL!!) but most of them have been quality reads so that’s a win I guess?
So the highlights were that I became obsessed with The Poppy War trilogy and how could I not when the writing was so brutal, so haunting? And after Babel, I have reached RF Kuang worshipper level. I also discovered the joys of dark academia (thank you booksta) and I am officially in love with the genre. I also read my second classic of the year (the first of pride and prejudice) and Dorian Gray still haunts my dreams.
So I FINALLY watched the ICONIC Little Women and my mind was a mush of JOLAURIE JOLAURIE JOLAURIE for a solid hour.
I also gave in to the hype and checked out Dead Poets Society and I WAS NOT READY FOR THE PAIN. I totally understand why it’s a classic- the plot, the acting everything was MASTERFUL.
Other than that, I’ve mostly been keeping up with new shows like Spy Family and Wednesday and the Enola Holmes movies.
Last week I represented my school in an intra-city badminton tournament! We lost in the quarter-finals but that’s okay we won quite a few rounds before that and it definitely was an amazing learning experience.
MIDNIGHTS OH MY GOSH. So you see I’ve become somewhat of a hardcore Taylor Swift fan in the past few months (listening to Fearless while writing this hehe) and her latest album Midnights has been the highlight of my life since October and I am not even exaggerating. Midnight Rain and Snow On The Beach and Great War and Would’ve Should’ve Could’ve are my top songs atm.
ALSO SHADOW AND BONE SEASON 2 RELEASE DATE WAS HERE TODAY i’m dying over here because NIKOLAI!! WYLAN!! TOLYA AND TAMAR!! I apologise in advance for the person I’ll become on march 16th (although i’ll have finals then so i’ll probably have to wait till march end but that means i can watch it on my birthday (28th march)!!)
I bagged 2nd prize at our intra-school chess competition! I feel like I could be even better at the game if I just put in a little time into it which I’ve started doing lately.
Oh and I can finally flex that I’ve taken to playing the keyboard! I am very proud of the fact that I can play the entirety of Snow On The Beach and Exile :)) and also the chorus of Enchanted (working on the whole song rn and the tune just makes me so happy)
I’ve been quite active over on my bookstagram account (though I still can’t click pretty pictures for the life of me :’) all this while so feel free to contact me on there too!
I’ve honestly missed you guys so much so TELL ME EVERYTHING! How have you been?? Random exciting things that have happened in your life?? New posts for me to check out? Favourite Midnights songs? Recent favourite books (I NEED RECS)
Feel free to completely spam the comments, nothing would make me happier!!
You know when you enter a shopping mall, you just wish to lose yourself in it forever (time? what’s that?) and get all hypnotised with eyes soaking up every store greedily? Be warned my friend, at that very moment a very evil architect will be rubbing his hands and cackling loudly because lots of malls are in fact intentionally designed to be disorienting to confuse customers (YOU) and make them more susceptible to impulse buys.
HA see? I KNEW there was a reason I always keep getting hopelessly lost and then somehow find the exit and pray that the others haven’t already left without m— wait tmi. Ahem.
Ok so I think that my point got lost (lost. get it?? hah i’m so clever) somewhere above so let me put it out clearly. Word fact of the day: That feeling of confusion on entering malls is known as the Gruen Effect. Fancy right?
Welp who knew my quest for word facts would lead me to unraveling such a universal conspiracy? IF I AM MURDERED TODAY BY EVIL PEOPLE WHO PROFIT OFF THIS, I DIE I MARTYR. Enlightening my peoples through word facts in my wrap ups is a very noble cause PLEASE REMEMBER ME FOREVER AND COMPOSE POETRY IN MY HONOUR.
Summer vacations equals contemporary books (and mangoes!) by the bucketful. Like mangoes, some looked good and actually were good while others gave off a fake shine and had me scrubbing the taste out of my tongue. Go metaphors!
May was also AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) month so most of my reads this month were by asian authors! Keep an eye out for them below!
you have a match:summer camps, estranged sisters and best-friends-to-lovers in all it’s awkward glory! what’s not to like? ★★★★½
not here to be liked: yeah girl good for you because i don’t like you one bit. ★★★
a thousand steps into night:idk what’s with me and traci chee’s fantasy books but while being pretty decent, they never really live up to my expectations. ★★★★
pride and prejudice:omg?? talk about pleasant surprises?? i don’t remember my life before this book. ★★★★★
tokyo ever after:the mc was annoying, the romance disgusted me and the enemies-to-lovers was forced into the story like never before. definitely worthy of being compared to rotten mangoes. ★★
dial a for aunties: i. am. obsessed. the asian aunties in this one are straight up icons and the way i nearly died laughing- ★★★★★
fifteen hundred miles from the sun:the singular fault of this book was that i’ve read too many like it already. ★★★
pride and premeditation:aha indulging in my new pride and prejudice obsession led me to this gem! loved how it sticked with the original while also giving everything a fresh perspective! ★★★★½
I tried (and mostly succeeded) in posting every now and then (because otherwise you would forget me and where would that leave us??) and also came up with some fairly decent content!
I…um… was kind of terrible at blog hopping in may. More specifically, I was terrible at commenting on posts (and replying to comments on mine) like I usually do but i WAS reading most of y’all’s posts ok??
📒In contrast to june (which has been a whirlwind of studies and exams. Or a blackhole because boy has it sucked me right in), may was considerably more relaxed academic-wise because SUMMER VACATIONS!!
🍂Found new favourite books like Pride & Prejudice and Dial A For Aunties and made them my entire personality as usual. Elizabeth & Mr. Darcy have become my new OTP and the aunties have become my idols.
📸Hot topic- I STARTED A BOOKSTAGRAM!! Check out my account if you haven’t already, it’s @abookwyrmsparadise,, at the very least the total lack of my aesthetic sense will make you feel better about your own haha!
🔎I discovered I get a tiny dimple on my left cheek when I smile really hard!! Highly exciting, but in my opinion torturing my cheeks for that little hole is not worth it.
🦉My Duolingo streak is going strong at 85 days!! I’ve become pretty decent at basic Spanish if I do say so myself.
Have you read any of these? Is it blazing hot these days on your side of the world?? Let me know in the comments!
(no the title is not a grammatical mistake, shadow&bone anyone?)
Hullo inhabitants of the mortal realm, how are we doing today?
Ok here’s a joke. The guy who invented the umbrella was going to name it the brella. But he hesitated.
Wait why aren’t you laughing? *dramatic widening of eyes* Ohh I get it. You must be an agelast, which means a person who doesn’t laugh!
Believe it or not that was the weird word fact of the day. Oh well. It seems I’ve lost my touch since I haven’t written a wrap up since two months. Oops.
A quick note before we start this section- I might have gone full ballistic with my reading this month because I haven’t had free time like this since what, a whole year? Plus March is my birthday month so I decided to sort of treat myself by going on a reading spree especially during the last two weeks. I haven’t read these many books in a month like ever so that’s something to remember this March by right? Anyway another amazing thing is that I loved (like, loved loved) most of the books I read this month?? It seems the bookish gods have been showering me with blessings hehe.
Down Comes The Night by Allison Saft An immersive atmospheric read perfect for a dark wintry night! Brr I shiver just thinking about it. ★★★★
When You Get The Chance by Emma Lord The characters? Love. The plot? Love. The writing? Love. Literally everything about this contemporary is quirky and witty and it shall forever hold a place in my happily-ever-after loving heart. ★★★★★
Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz What a letdown. Here be dragons, but apparently here be disappointment as well. ★★
Heartstopper Volume 1-4 by Alice Oseman I’ll be honest, I went in expecting lots of fluffy gay adorableness and was unprepared for the many heavy themes that were handled, BUT I’m so glad I read this. Also the art was unparalleled. Also also yes I finally picked this up because I wanted to read the books before the Netflix show (!!) came out.
Fable & Namesake by Adrienne Young It’s a testament to how obsessed I was with this duology that I read it completely in two days—which unexpected because I’ve never read full length novels that fast. A gripping pirate-y adventure if I ever saw one! ★★★★★
Geekerella by Ashley Poston I don’t know if it’s just my inexperience in the world of contemporary novels speaking, but Geekerella was very different from any other ya romance i’ve read. I believe it was also my first ever Cinderella retelling and OH. MY GOSH. The way the elements from the original story were given a twist (scratch that, they were turned 180 degrees) had me squealing into my pillow. ★★★★½
Tahira In Bloom by Farah Heron Technically not counting this as a read because it was a DNF. *gasps from audience* i know i know, i dont think I’ve ever dnf’ed a book in the past few years but idk something just felt wrong about this which is sad because I had HIGH hopes.
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord Another Emma Lord book! Not surprising in the least, because I’ve made it my personal mission to devour everything this genius of a woman writes. With family rivalry, anonymous texting and DESSERTS (ok i swear i dont know how that found its way in this sentence) it was a fun, totally adorable contemporary. ★★★★½
I posted quite frequently this month, especially compared to February when I was writing part of a different post every day and finishing none of them. Click on the featured images to be taken to that post!
Part 2 of the iconic (if I do say so myself) Book Recommendations Based On Disney Movies is here! There are book quotes and movie dialogues and whatnot.
Someone evoke my mood reader license please because TBRs? But atleast seasonal tbrs are easier to follow than monthly ones right? Right?? Anyway, I present my TBR for Spring & Summer!
New blog series alert! Maddie from Inking & Thinking and I collaboratively started a series called March Madness But In Books where we pit two books against each other every week and choose a winner!!
You know I’ve gone full bad when I put together my own crew of fictional characters for a heist! Anyway its a lot of fun assembling characters according to heist archetypes, go check it out!!
March was my birthday month (which you couldn’t POSSIBLY have missed, given that I mention it a million times in my posts) and I decided to do a bookshelf reveal!!
🪄Ok I’m actually regretting calling this section EXCITING because my life isn’t always that. But anyway. Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first. *wards off evil* So there was this extremely bad family situation for most of March and while I do not wish to bombard you with details, I can tell you that I was miserable. But atleast it’s settling down now (i think)
🪄Yeah back to the actual exciting things! *drumroll* I started learning Spanish! Yes this was actually back in February but I did not do a february wrap-up so shh. Spanish has always been one of my dream languages but somehow it felt out of reach sorta? But after I’d assured myself that my German skills won’t go anywhere even if I learn Spanish, I felt invincible. Even more so by the fact that i now have a 24 day streak on duolingo and am constantly trying to beat my neighbour’s daily xp (he’s also learning spanish hehe)
🪄It’s hot here. Spring is not supposed to be this hot ok? I swear I’ll melt in the heat one of these days.
🪄School is starting offline from April after two whole years of online classes! Yeah I’d gone to school physically last year for exams but its the first time regular classes will take place offline. (also, despite what the exclamation mark led you to believe, I have mixed feelings about this whole thing)
🪄I ordered new books! Like for my birthday sort of? One of them was Tweet Cute, A Far Wilder Magic is on its way and there are a couple more.
🪄Surprisingly, I’ve still not given up on my fantasy wip, like I initially predicted I would. Instead now I’ve decided to go on full outlining mode and drafting now and then. I’ve befriended other writers on twitter and it’s all very encouraging.
🪄There’s a Heartstopper show coming on Netflix in April! Pretty sure you already know this (otherwise i hate to inform you that you’ve been living under a rock dear friend) but its an update fit for this section so i can’t just leave it out.
How was your March? Have you read any of these? Thoughts?? Any “exciting” things happening in your life? Let me know in the comments!!
Me? Nothing much, except basking in the glory of having solved today’s (at the time of writing) wordle IN TWO TRIES. Pretty good, huh?
Speaking of basking, SPRING IS HERE! Ok yeah there’s still a few days for it to be official, but it’s spring-ey enough already where I live for me to write this post.
And of course, it was about thyme spring came. What a re-leaf it is here, isn’t it? My favourite season of the year always puts a little spring in my step. (yep spring puns are superior)
Well I could go on about my love for spring but then we’d be here all day so let’s proceed to what we are actually here to talk about. I gave up on monthly tbrs a long time ago (one of the many quirks of my mood reader-ness) but there have been a lot of contemporaries (and also a fair amount of non-contemporaries) lately that have been catching my eye (read: i’m DYING to read them) and a certain lot particularly give off summer-y and spring vibes (the two seasons are sort of merged in my country) so I thought why not compile a list?
Without further ado, I present to you part of my to-be-read list for the next few sunny months!
tahira in bloom: That cover alone had me sighing contentedly, and the synopsis is the cherry on top because plants! rivals to lovers! and bonus points for all the SPRING VIBES.
geekerella: I haven’t read a lot of retellings (*ahem* no retellings actually, but let’s overlook that) so when Anoushka recommended this to me, I knew I had to give it a try! And I know for a fact that she has got remarkable taste.
i was born for this: Can you really call yourself a contemporary reader if you haven’t read Alice Oseman? (um yeah that’s why I don’t call myself one. yet.) This one looks worthy of being my first Oseman book, what with boy bands and that summery yellow cover.
the sun is also a star : I’ve heard nothing but awesome things about this one and there’s actually a sun in the title and on the cover (i… hope that’s a sun? albeit a very colourful one??). What more could i need?
recommended for you: Books within books never fail to disappoint after all do they? Plus there’s tons of rivalry.
1500 miles from the sun: This sounds absolutely adorable and all the points for sun in the title. I’d actually started listening to the audiobook a while back but my subscription ended before i listened to a chapter so gonna do this again.
a far wilder magic: i’ve heard nothing but awesome things about this one, and I did sort of enjoy Down Comes The Night after all and there’s A. MAGICAL. FOXHUNT.
tokyo ever after: Identity struggles? Lots of drama? “Just found out I am literally royalty”?? yes, yes and YES. This looks a little like The Royal Treatment (fantastic movie btw) in book form which means I have to read it.
fable: After reading In Deeper Waters, I seem to be craving another good pirate-y fantasy and this seems like a perfect choice!
the girls i’ve been: I’ve got a copy of this waiting on my shelves since christmas, and it’s been a while since a read and enjoyed a thriller soo pinning my hopes on this one!
opposite of always: Time travel in a contemporary?? Now this I have got to see.
tweet cute: when you get the chance might just have been the best contemporary i’ve ever read, now watch me as I proceed to devour every other book Emma Lord has written. The woman’s a genius.
And that’s the end of my planned tbr! Chances are I might end up reading these in October when everyone else is reading spooky but wishful thinking never hurt anyone, did it?
Have you read any of these? What’s on your spring tbr? Which is your favourite season? Let’s chat in the comments!
Gosh. Let me say it again on behalf of all those like me are confused by the mechanisms of time – How are we already a month into 2022? It’s like I blinked and the year went by. Hold up, does that mean–
*blink* How are we already a month into 2023? *blink* How are we already a month into 2024?
Okay enough of that. Many of you might be kind enough to wonder where my usual bird fact intro is, so let me finally explain. In 2022, we have a brand new category of introductions to my monthly wrap ups – and it is *drumroll* uncommon and weird words! *waits for applause, instead gets the sarcastic slow clap* Hey hey, hear me out at least.
Finifugal sounds like nonsense, but it means “afraid of finishing anything”. (speaking of which, my biology assignment is pending, brb)
If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales Boy bands, secret parties and a glimpse of the stage life with an added dose of heartbreak and identity and fighting back. (Mom squad forever!!) ★★★★
Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley I’m a simple gal. Give me some magical witchy-ness, grumpy-sunshine romance, and perilous journeys leading to epic facedowns, and I’m sold. ★★★★
Portrait Of A Thief by Grace D. Li Not gonna lie, I came only for the heists. And while that certainly did deliver, nothing could have prepared me for the internal conflicts of identity and futures at stake. This one was full of surprises, and I mean that as a compliment. ★★★★
Caraval by Stephanie Garber No we do not need a reminder on how dangerous the game is and a warning of not being swept away every two pages, thank you very much. Plus Scarlett was annoying and a little dumb. ★★
Ace Of Shades by Amanda Foody Uhh I think dark fantasy is just not for me?? ★★½
Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong Miss Gong did it again. The number of times I died and got resurrected while reading this is not even funny. ★★★★½
My first post of the year, and what better than to review three books from my newest favourite genre and my newest favourite author? Read my mini reviews of Perfect On Paper, Only Mostly Devastated and If This Gets Out here.
I never knew there were so many Disney fans here until I wrote this post and got an overwhelming response? But anyway, I compare some of my favourite disney movies to some of my favourite books, so it’s a win win really. Read it here!
A random post in which I try (and perhaps fail miserably? but shh) to guess the zodiac signs of some of my favourite characters based on their personalities! Read it here.
I review an ARC of This Last Adventure by Ryan Dalton, a middle grade focused on the grandson of an Alzheimers’ patient. You can read it here.
We have a special guest on the blog in this one, and it’s none other than my friend Anoushka from Dipped In Ink! She cleverly answers a set of (extremely hard, if i do say so myself) questions and i do the same on her blog! Read the whole shenanigan here.
🪄Academics wise, January was top tier in the sense that I got selected for courses for the next academic year in the institute I’m studying in, with very good ranks (1 and 4 respectively for two different courses) and generous scholarships. Ok now i’m going to stop the bragging.
🪄Not ‘exciting’ per se, and I think I mentioned in one of my earlier posts as well but the third week of January was pure torture, in terms of health at least. I was sick for nearly that entire week, and it was PAINFUL. And I still have a bad cold, which is annoying at the very least.
🪄Some better news is that I’m now paying more attention to my WIP (atleast I was, until I fell ill hmph) which had been pitifully neglected the past few weeks. Progress is still extremely slow though (there go your dreams of seeing a published copy in your lifetime MWAHAHA) but we’re getting there. Slowly. Very Slowly.
🪄I’m also starting to be more active on twitter now, so go give me a follow there! My tag is @callmeabookworm
How did you like the transition from “birds” to “words”?(no it has not escaped my notice that they rhyme) Have you read any of the mentioned books? Thoughts?? And link your monthly wrap ups if you’ve posted, I’d love to read them!
It’s new year’s eve you guys! Wow it feels surreal saying that.
It’s scary how “next year” has become “tomorrow”. You know the feeling where you can actually feel time rushing past you? Pretty much like a passing metro right in front of you. And the kind that is accompanied by a blast of air that leaves you sputtering and trying to keep your hair out of your mouth. Ok i spoiled the metaphor didn’t I?
Anyway. Being the opportunist I am, let me grab this opportunity by the toes and reflect on my reading and blogging this year. So keep aside that biology assignment (which the school felt essential to give RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER BREAK, why?) and settle down to read this chaotic post. Also, this is my first time wrapping up the entire year, so while i’m obviously very excited, this post is longer than I expected it to be. Like much longer. But hopefully you’ll not doze off in the middle (remember that bio assignment? yeah we cannot have you sleeping while precious time runs out) since I’ve tried my best to keep things interesting with lots of cute ‘lil graphics and with all that said and done let’s start right away!
Books Read: 71 || Pages Read: 26662 || Average book length: 375 pages
Best Book(s) Of The Year: Six Of Crows duology
Worst Book Of The Year: The Young Elites
Most Read Author(s) Of The Year: Leigh Bardugo and TJ Klune
Not surprisingly, fantasy has dominated my reading (imagine little knights and fairies and goblins from the fantasy kingdom charging forward with swords and chasing away the other genres)
I’m honestly disappointed that I hardly read any historical fiction this year. It is one of my favourite genres, but I guess I didn’t find many historical books that sounded particularly intriguing to me, so please, hit me with recs in the comments!
What’s new is that started reading YA contemporaries! I mean, this happened pretty late into the year, like my first one was Perfect On Paper in the month of October. One small step for most of the bookish community, a giant leap for Rachel. (who, btw formerly couldn’t understand why on earth people would choose high school drama over dragons and magic. but she has evolved. congratulations and happy realization to her. and now third person is getting weird so she is going to stop)
This too is hardly surprising. Since my neighbourhood library shut down and then moved to a new location (thank you Covid), I’ve been reading mostly on my Kindle (which has proved such a boon in these trying times). Not that I don’t have a lot of unread physical books sitting on my shelves; it’s just that I haven’t been prioritizing them over others. Guess I need to do that in 2022.
But I started reading audiobooks for a change! Its basically reading without having to use your hands and eyes and that honestly makes it so much easier for someone having a chaotic life (like me, obviously). I also live under the illusion that listening to murder mysteries and horror books makes them less scary than reading them on page, but i’m pretty sure that’s delusional so let’s not go there i’ve embarassed myself enough.
Series / Standalones / ARCs
Till last year, I was a huge series person but now I’m just intimidated by them so I stick to standalones and duologies. And even those 29 books that are mentioned as part of series in the graph are mostly the first books of a trilogy or something, and in most cases I never read the sequels. Like the Gilded Wolves trilogy for instance. I really enjoyed the first book, it was even on my top 10, but for some reason I keep putting off reading the sequel? Idk I feel like I’ve lost commitment to anything more than a duology.
I mean, since 2021 was the first year I actually became part of the bookish community, I discovered loads and loads of new fantastic authors and books I’d never heard about earlier. Yay to that.
So here I’ve analysed the different categories of posts I published in 2021, and i’ve mentioned my favourite posts from each category as well as a few lines reacting to the number of posts in each category I wrote this year. (wow that did not make sense at all)
Book / ARC Reviews
Quite understandably, book reviews make up a significant population of posts on my blog. I feel like I’ve really REALLY improved in writing book reviews (i’m not bragging, you just haven’t seen my very early reviews lol) over time. I and my friend April also started the hype-o-meter series, which is basically reviewing popular books in a way that deems them worthy (or not) of the hype they get.
I have a confession to make. Idontlikewritingdiscussionsanymorehelp *ahem* What I meant was that for some reason I don’t enjoy writing discussion posts these days (yes i know that’s unforgivable, it’s the worst form of betrayal to the book blogging community, it’s treason it’s-) and when I do, they don’t really turn out that great so yeah that’s why there weren’t many discussion posts this year.
These consist of themed book recs, and lists of certain types of books or characters. I like how short and to the point these kinds of posts usually are (please ignore the fact that i gush about nearly the same books in every recommendation post). I’d definitely like to increase the number of this category of posts next year.
Aha! Undoubtedly my favourite type of posts to write. I mean, yeah you have to sacrifice a few brain cells, but no big deal. These posts that honestly come out of nowhere can be found aplenty on my blog, especially in these last few months of 2021. We have every level of weirdness here. Comparing books to road trips when they have nothing in common (or do they?)? Check. Trying to relate quotes from books to real life? Check. Choosing books to throw at someone’s face? Also check.
While I stopped making monthly tbrs a while back, I still love writing monthly wrap-ups! It is a fact well known that the wrap-ups on this blog always start with weird bird facts (also that is getting just a tiny bit old, so wait and watch in 2022 *wink wink*) so that’s a special feature.
While I was absolutely going crazy with tags and awards last year, this year i hardly did any of them. And the ones I did do were the generic ones like the mid year freakout, the end of the year etc etc. Sure, tags are great for a rainy day when I do not have a single post idea in mind, but I tend to not use them much for regular days when I already have posts planned. But. I do have a few very fun tags sitting in my drafts at the moment, so look out for those in the coming weeks!
– Read more historical fiction. As I mentioned earlier, though I thoroughly enjoy historical fiction, for some reason I haven’t been reading much of it. So prioritizing historical fics on my tbr is something I hope to do tomorrow next year.
– Shorten that physical tbr. Those unread books will collect dust on my shelves no longer. (Let’s ignore the fact that I lost all control and ordered a lot of books recently for some reason so more pretty copies are on their way to me while I procrastinate reading the ones I already have.)
– Catch up on arcs and arc reviews. Apparently I have no self control and went on a requesting spree on Edelweiss. Plus when authors contacted me to review their books, guess what I did? I said yes, of course. So I’m slowly wading through the pile of arcs and an even bigger pile of pending reviews.
– Follow up on series. At least, the ones whose first books I enjoyed. Because I’m internally dying to know what happens.
– Work on my WIP. I realize I never announced over here that I. AM. WRITING. A. BOOK! I mean, it’s less a book than a jumble of words right now, but that’s exactly why I want to give it some more time and effort. And also don’t get too excited because there’s basically no plot yet. We’re thriving on vibes.
Who was your most read author this year? Any historical fiction recs for me? What are some of your goals for 2022?(which, let me very unhelpfully remind you, is not more than a few hours away) Chat with me in the comments, goodbye and happy new year everyone!
Ahem. Sorry, I was just testing whether this unbelievable bird fact that I came across was true. Apparently, a duck’s quack does not echo ANYWHERE, and no one knows why.
With this time’s monthly weird bird fact we have established, once more, that ducks are creepy.
I am not kidding when I say October was a terrible reading month. It was one of those hectic months when suddenly all sorts of exams and tests came up- school, coaching institute and other additional projects. However, lack of time wasn’t the only reason I didn’t read much, I also fell in a sort of reading slump. The result – only 4 books, my lowest so far this year.
November was a total turnaround from October. I suddenly had lots of free time and found myself out of my slump too so naturally, lots of books and a very happy human.
Hmm there’s not much to say really. I spent more than half of October on hiatus so I posted very little, and November was a pretty average month. Here are my top 3 posts from October and November! (click on the featured images to be taken to the respective posts!)
I share my thoughts on We Are Not Free, an emotionally wrenching story set during WWII (basically a whole lot of crying and screaming)
I recommend my favourite books by POC authors and likewise leads and also share a part of my diverse tbr!
In this insanely chaotic post I choose books to throw at Jesper if I was David from the Shadow & Bone show!
💨 I went on a road trip with my parents and our neighbors to Shirdi, a very popular temple where I live. The trip took a little longer than planned (we spent more than 10 hours in the car!) but okay.
💨 I created an account on Edelweiss and went on a requesting spree, not expecting to get approved for any of them. BUT I GOT APPROVED FOR MY FIRST REQUEST (Portrait of a thief) WHICH WAS ONE OF MY MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASES OF 2022!! I mean, it has a heist plot so… (I’m still waiting on my other 5 arc requests🤞)
💨 I did not touch a single cracker this Diwali! #GreenDiwali
💨 I started writing again! My WIP, which I started in late October, was abandoned for most of November, but then in the last week of November I finished writing the first chapter of my fantasy novel!!
Do you use Edelweiss? Have you read any of the books I read in these two months? Scream with me about them in the comments!
Would you look at that? My wrap-up post is actually on time for once! I can’t really promise to make this a habit though. What can I say, I like to be fashionably late. *flips hair in sass*
Speaking about fashion, did you know that the bearded vulture purposely dyes its feathers with red soil? Interestingly, it is the only bird that likes to play dress-up in this manner.
Yes, believe it or not, that was the weird bird fact for today.
Since the entire purpose of my monthly bird-fact intros is to spare me from writing long introductions to my wrap-ups, we get started right away!
I didn’t get much time to read this month – most of it was a whirlwind of exams and schoolwork – so I barely read anything for the first half of the month, it was only later that I found some time to read. The books were all 4 star-ish so I guess that’s a good thing?
The highlight of this month, however, is something else. Somehow, ALL my reads this month were written from first person point-of-view! Like, how? An utter coincidence, Nature playing a joke on this poor soul, or the bookish gods trying to convince me that not all first person narratives are boring? Whatever it may be, I am actually glad I gave (5!) books with 1st person POV a chance, because upto this point, I had ended up disliking nearly every book told from 1t person POV. However, I for once enjoyed reading the narratives of most of these 5 books, so happy realization to me!
Onto the books I read!
A Clash Of Steel by C.B. Lee (ARC) Rating: ★★★★ (4 out of 5 stars) This was a lovely diverse retelling of the classic favourite Treasure Island – with strong woman characters, pirates and treasure hunting! It was one of my most anticipated releases this year so I’m grateful I got the chance to be a part of the blog tour!
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes Rating: ★★★★ (4 out of 5 stars) A book that has gotten popular recently due to its recently released sequel, I buddy read The Inheritance Games with April for our hype-o-meter series of posts! While lacking in several aspects, I laud the author for creating such an intriguing atmospheric mystery!
The Wolf’s Curse by Jessica Vitalis (ARC) Rating: ★★★★ (4 out of 5 stars) A beautiful, lyrical, atmospheric middle grade fantasy centered around death and life, love and loss among lots of other meaningful themes, this book completely stole my heart.
How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao Rating: ★★★★ (4 out of 5 stars) This was an intriguing murder mystery set in an elite prep school where secrets don’t stay buried for long. A completely Asian main cast of characters, flashbacks and dark secrets – this book will keep you hooked.
We Are Not Free by Traci Chee Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 out of 5 stars) An impactful story about 14 Japanese teenagers living in war-torn America during WWII, growing up amid discrimination and facing all odds to stay happy together – We Are Not Free was deep. Full review to come!
Most of my posts this month were basically reviews of some sort so yeah, compared to the plethora of creative posts I published last month, this month’s content was pretty stale. Still, some of the reviews are nicely written, with quotes and moodboards and hype-o-meters and what not. Here are all my posts this month, check them out in case you missed them earlier!
3. Blogger Interview with Rachel! : Soo this was not a real post at all, it was a reblog of my interview with Riddhi from Whispering Stories! She asks me a set of questions related to everything from my blog to my future career and lots more!
Apparently an albatross can sleep while flying. Yes, seriously. I just found out that this bird can doze off comfortably while cruising through the air at a speed of 25km/hr. Talk about sleeping through a journey. (Kinda related, but how are people ever able to sleep in planes? It is the worst kind of torture there is for my neck)
And the “birds as weird intros to Rachel’s wrap-ups” saga continues. We had ducks in June, pigeons and July and the lucky ones this month were albatrosses. I wonder who’ll be next?
Ugh August was definitely not my best reading month. First, I read a lot lesser owing to exams, and even most out of those books were 3 star-ish. Still, I did find something I could call a new favourite, and I reviewed more books than usual so that’s an achievement.
The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer
Rating ★★★ ½
Comments: Hmm, decent. Like the beginning was extremely promising, but the end did not quite live up to my expectations. But overall a solid sci-fi.
Comments: Ehh from the coming-of-age point of view, it was brilliant. I wasn’t a big fan of the pacing and the plot line though.
The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Bradley
Comments: Its been a while since I enjoyed a middle grade, but I did. There was war, bombs, horses, found family, spies… what’s there not to like?
We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal
Comments: Gooood. Really. But I am not going to go into how fabulous, brilliant, outstanding and enchanting this book is here because you’ll begin to (rightly) think I’m obsessed. (also there’s a full review coming right up)
We Free The Stars by Hafsah Faizal
Comments: Okay I am cheating with this one since I haven’t finished it yet. But look I am like almost done okay?!
Comments: Umm I get why lots of people totally love this book, but not for me. Sorry.
So as you can see, it was pretty much a sci-fi month for me. I am proud of the fact that I am making progress on my goal of reading more of genres other than just fantasy *applause please*. Next goal – more of crimes and mysteries.
Big news: I redesigned my blog yet again. I know I know, the proclamation has lost its glamour due to repetition, but then again, I get bored of my current them every few weeks, hence the inevitable change. This time though, I’ll try to keep a check on my itchy fingers.
Content-wise, I think I was pretty much at my creative best in August. I had some great ideas and actually had the energy to sit down and type them out so I am proud of that. Most of my posts this month have been some of my favourites so far (am I… am I actually getting the hang of blogging?) so yay to that!! Here are the links to all my posts along with a small description, and in case you missed any of them you are welcome to check them out!
3. The Young Elites vs The Hype-o-Meter!: A very exciting review post, the first in the Hype-o-meter series with my fellow blogger and friend April. Check out whether The Young Elites is worth the hype according to us!!